This year will be the time for to be “assertive and aggressive” about preservation opportunities while inevitably growing economically, according to
Russell highlighted the Town’s 2011 accomplishments and touched on a few overarching goals for 2012 at his third-annual address to a crowd of about 20 people — made up of mostly of Town employees — at Town Hall Thursday night.
The town has upheld a good bond rating in a tough economy and has made strides in implementing new legislation such as aand an evolving , Russell said.
“I grew up in a town that didn’t need a noise ordinance, but it’s clear now that we do,” he said. “We live in a community that makes noise, and I think we’ve developed a reasonable code that is in force today.”
Russell said that through changes, it’s now easier than it ever was for a homeowner to build and rent out an accessory apartment over a garage or other part of an existing house in town.
“Not many people are coming out here looking to build affordable housing, so we’re trying to use our existing inventory,” he said.
The opening of the as a gathering place and showcase for historic photos was another milestone for the Town in 2011, as was the next to the recreation center, the supervisor said.
Russell also gave props during his speech to the following for their work in 2011: Highway Superintendent Peter Harris and his crew for their diligent work the staff of the for serving 27,000 meals to the town’s homebound residents; the office of the Zoning Board of Appeals for dealing with 552 individual cases; the for its role in local narcotics case investigations and reducing East End drug trafficking; and to the people behind the town’s deer management program, who helped feed dozens through a food pantry.
The grander goal for 2012 will be keeping Southold's fiscal house in order by closely watching every dollar spent and by creating a business liason position within Town Hall to make "government moreRussell said. With the creation of a Town economic development committee, incentives from the Suffolk County Economic Development Office, and the Town’s efforts in creating hamlet-based meetings, Russell said he also hoped 2012 would be the year for the boosting of “meaningful employment” within Southold Town.
“We can be robust,” he said. “We can balance the needs of preserving our scenic vistas while creating meaningful employment for years to come. We have well-educated residents and we want to create jobs that will keep them here for 20, 30 years.”
Russell's outline of his speech is attached as a PDF document.